Carlos Tevez may be back in the city he vowed he’d never return to, but with only a week’s worth of training under his belt he won’t play any part in Manchester City’s opening Premier League fixture tonight.
City face newly promoted Swansea City and will be looking to get their season off to a flying start. The task of doing this, however, will fall on the shoulders of last season’s signing Edin Dzeko.
The Bosnian striker, who managed only two goals in 15 Premier League appearances after his January move may have thought his chances limited after the collapse of Tevez’s potential move to Corinthians and the arrival of new signing Sergio Aguero, but he will again be given the chance to shine after last weeks’ community shield.
As was the case for 3-2 loss against Manchester United, Aguero is only fit to make the bench, but is likely to play some part in the second half.
This gives Dzeko the ideal chance to stake his claim for a starting berth and after his stunning strike at Wembley got him off the mark in the goalscoring stakes, he’s a solid bet to opening the scoring tonight at 4/1.
Despite being at home against a newly promoted side, Mancini is likely to start with his favoured formation of one striker supported by two wide men.
As Dzeko is the favourite to get the nod to lead the line, Mario Balotelli is again expected to be given a run out supporting him from a wide berth.
The controversial Italian striker again showed his dark side following his substitution in the Wembley showpiece, but with six Premier League goals in 17 games last season, City fans will be hoping to see the positive side of the Italian’s character.
Also likely to occupy one of the forward positions for the visit of Brendan Rogers’ side, is David Silva.The diminutive Spaniard was one of City’s shining lights last season, scoring a total of nine goals in all competitions and making 13 for his teammates.
Goals are expected from City tonight with odds of 4/5 for City to win by scoring three or more goals. If this is to happen the influence of Silva will be key.